by Suzie Eller
Last night I watched an episode of a makeover show. In it, a single mom worked from home preparing natural recipes in her kitchen. She sat on an uncomfortable stool, her knees pressed into the cabinet. Her laptop perched on the counter. Recipe cards and ingredients piled up around her.
Her workspace was limited, yet her time to create was now. The makeover team created a perfect working environment for her and she had her happy ending.
The reality is that most of us identify with her plight, but there is no makeover team hanging around to make our dream space come to life.
Today, we share four questions that will help you create an inviting workplace – even if you don’t have a dream makeover team.
Finding a workplace that works for you is a priority. We have specific places for cleaning supplies, art supplies, canned goods, blankets and sheets, our car, and even for clothes we no longer wear. We do that so we can find these items quickly. It helps us manage our lives better.
Creating a workspace now is a statement that your writing holds just as much honor as your sheets or canned goods. It might not be fancy. It might be a tucked-away corner. Yet it’s your space and it’s exclusively for writing.
Carving out a workspace won’t look the same for all of us. I’ve been writing for 18 years. It took a long time for me to have a dedicated home office.
Some of you have offices. Some write from your kitchen table, go to a coffee shop, or sit on the patio with your laptop. Even if you don’t have an office, it’s important to have a place where you store all of your writing supplies, books, etc. This might mean cleaning out a closet and donating items to a local Goodwill or finding a unique space (like under a stairwell or in a basement or a corner of your bedroom).
For a long time, my workspace was a corner of my bedroom. It was designated as a sacred space (which means it wasn’t overrun with socks or bills or anyone else’s stuff). This dedicated workplace was intentional and allowed me and my family to treat writing time as valuable.
One of the biggest challenges we may have is to share our call to write with those we love. They wonder if it’s a hobby. They wonder when you’ll get a paycheck. They may not initially be supportive as you create a writing space.
Invite them into your writing dreams. Show them your books on writing as you organize them. Let a child or a spouse or a friend hang a framed printable with your favorite writing quote in your writing space. Let them fill the cup marked “writer” with red pens.
Invite God into the moving and cleaning and clearing process. He knows the dreams and plans He has for you. Find joy as you create a space to embrace those plans.
What do you put in that workplace? A great printer is cheaper than ever. You can buy mailing envelopes through Amazon Prime. Begin to build your writing library. If you are lucky enough to have a space for a desk and comfortable chair, add those to a nook in your home. Bring your workspace to life with whatever makes you happy, and what will make you productive.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT
- Describe your current workspace.
- If you were to use one word to describe your current workspace, what would it be?
- How might you create a workspace with your current home and circumstances?
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My current workspace is the bedroom my oldest son vacated a couple years ago. I painted the walls a steel gray and rearranged the furniture a gazillion times! Currently, there is one chair for my quiet moments in God’s Word and writing in my prayer journal. There is a makeshift desk for my PC, etc. Other than three bookshelves the room is open and empty. I lean toward minimalism.
The one word I would use to describe my current workspace is ‘inviting’.
All but two items in my workspace were items I already owned and relocated from others rooms to my study. Most of those pieces were used, hand-me-downs, or re-purposed pieces. The riser for my computer monitor consists of a shelf and four posts I bought at a local building supply store much cheaper than buying new.
My current workspace is a soothing office in my finished basement. I turned the desk to face the window after a Coaching teaching I took a couple years ago, and love the secluded area to think and write. I have to have quiet and minimal distractions, as well as at least 2 hours to really hunker down if I’m working on a blog or my next book.
My current writing space and work space is in the corner of my room(near window) or my corner on the couch(near window). I stay home with 3 boys while my husband travels a lot for business so I’m embracing this season of not having my own separate office and enjoying the spaces I do have. I would like to have my own office one day with a cozy chair, lots of pillows, and light beaming in from windows.
One word – special
I have a great office to write and run our non-profit company that I share with my husband. We have matching desks and lots of bookshelves…yep…empty nest provides you space! But my upcoming book needs me to have a private Facebook group for my followers so three times per week I take my writing upstairs for a great view for that live FB group…and I just realized yesterday I had moved all my books and tools up there….leaving my beautiful office behind. Point of the story? I think we write where we are inspired. Don’t you guys?
In some ways, my empty nest makes me nostalgic and a little bit sad sometimes but on the plus side I converted the dining room into a writing room – it’s completely my own space with books, art supplies, candles, blankets, and a reading chair. It’s definitely one of my favorite rooms in the house 🙂
One word – mine
My favorite room in our house has windows on three sides and overlooks our backyard. It is not totally dedicated to writing – space is shared with homeschooling materials and my husband’s favorite chair. But it’s painted in a shade of green I love, has inspirational wall hangings and photos, and room for all of my materials. I have my writing desk in one corner and my reading chair in another. When I sit with my reading glasses on, at the desk in front of my computer, my kids ask, “Are you writing, Mom?” I think that’s a good sign!
The word that comes to mind is ‘inviting’.
I recently created an office space in an extra bedroom. I was able to obtain a desk for free and refinished it. Next I filled the drawers with what I needed. I already had a printer and moved it closer by. It is quiet and comfy. I also made sure I had good lighting and an extra chair to relax in for reading. Loving my space.
I have a corner in our upstairs TV room. I have a corner desk where I store my research and writing books on one side and write on the other side. I’m writing about the father I never knew right now and I have a frame he made. It also sits on the desk propped against the wall as inspiration. My chair looks cute but is terrible to sit on!! I’m actually preparing to move, so once I set up my new space my first purchase will be a chair – maybe not so cute on 😉
I am fortunate to have my own space for writing and solitude. My desk is formed from two work tables. Covered with books that inspire, challenge, and teach. Commentaries, journals, notebooks, a planner, broken shells, nail polish, and Bibles. Lots of Bibles. Study Bibles. Devotional Bibles. Compact. Large. I am surrounded by scripture on the walls, along with photos of my family. A window that I can see the beautiful pines of north Florida and occasionally get a glimpse of a butterfly. I would say it is organized chaos.
One word to describe my space: me.
I have a designated workspace with a chair that fits, a desk, sewing machine, ironing board and printer. Things I love hang on the wall. Truth is, I do some of my best writing elsewhere–cozied up to the wood stove. Its flames inspire better than the electric glow of my workspace. I have the best of both worlds.
My sewing machine and my printer/copier are manufactured by the same company. Can I make one curtain on the sewing machine and duplicate it on the copier? Or stitch together a great story?